Sudbury-based Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Richard Nancoo is headed to the World Master Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Las Vegas this August, thanks to a win at last weekend’s Ontario Open.
Nancoo, who co-owns and instructs at Troop MMA, along with UFC standout Mitch Gagnon and fellow black belt Amber Nancoo, won two gold medals at the provincial championships in the senior brown/black belt category - one at lightweight and the other in the absolute, open-weight category.
By winning the absolute title, Nancoo won a trip to fight at the worlds.
“I had a lot of tough and seasoned opponents but I was able to put away most of them in regulation time,” said Nancoo. “This is the biggest tournament in Canada and I felt good. It’s definitely a great win for the team. I feel like I’m starting to shake off a lot of that rust I’ve accumulated.”
Nancoo, who is the highest ranked BJJ black belt in Northern Ontario, recently returned to competition after eight years, during which time he moved to Sudbury to establish Troop MMA. The Ontario Open was just his third tournament since returning to competition.
“I competed earlier this year looking for decent results but I felt a little off in my game, especially from being out of the competitive scene for so long,” Nancoo said. “Thanks to all my training partners in Sudbury and Toronto, I was able to get back into the ring feeling better this time out.”
Nancoo usually competes at featherweight but was forced to compete up a weight division at the Ontario Open. Nancoo’s smallest opponent was 15 pounds heavier, while his heaviest opponent, in the open-weight category, was almost twice his weight.
Another Troop MMA competitor, Lucas Schinbeckler came up just short of also winning a trip to the worlds, losing in the finals of the master male blue belt absolute division, after scoring victories over three other competitors. This was Schinbeckler’s first tournament at blue belt.
“When I arrived, Sudbury was behind Southern Ontario in the Jiu-Jitsu scene. I came up here to practice my craft and help bring a higher level of Jiu-Jitsu to the North,” said Nancoo.
“I can’t believe how quickly the level has picked up. All of our competitors fought amazing and came away with amazing results. I’m truly impressed with how our team did and how Sudbury’s Jiu-Jitsu scene as a whole is starting to make its mark nationally and internationally.”